JOE SCHMIDT WAS joined by his assistant coach Les Kiss and Richie Murphy at Kingspan Stadium tonight and the trio witnessed a second half comeback from Leinster’s replacements that earned a friendly victory over Ulster.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Leinster took an early lead through a try from winger Adam Byrne. However, Ulster (somewhat confusingly playing in blue while Leinster wore white) were still well in touch and Paul Marshall added to a bright performance with a long range try after quick-tapping a penalty on 32 minutes.
Ian Humphreys kicked the conversion to give Ulster the lead and he was soon lining up another after Luke Marshall finished off a move out wide.
Both sides made a raft of changes to their starting line-ups after entering the changing rooms at 14- 5.
Adam Byrne gets clear of Darren Cave. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
For Leinster, the addition of the likes of Jack Conan, Dan Leavy, Garry Ringrose and Isa Nacewa certainly paid dividends as the visitors powered to 19 unanswered points in 15 minutes.
Nacewa, running from fullback, got on the board with two conversions after Steve Crosbie failed to add the extras to Conan’s touchdown just two minutes after the restart.
Luke Marshall makes a carry. Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO
Leavy claimed Leinster’s third try of the evening to pull ahead at 14 – 17 on 49 minutes and that gave newly appointed head coach Leo Cullen the license to call his 15th starter ashore to allow Ross Byrne take the reins before Bryan Byrne grounded Leinster’s fourth.
10 points adrift, Ulster’s replacements couldn’t quite muster the second wind their starters provided. The game descended into a scrappy contest for the final quarter and Leinster’s defence ensured the hosts were unable to close the 10-point gap until after the clock went red. A late try from Sam Arnold proved just a consolation as the full-time whistle blew with Leinster sitting on a three-point cushion.
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